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Unwind (Unwind Dystology #1)

4.2 of 5 stars 4.20  ·  rating details  ·  96,858 ratings  ·  10,894 reviews
Connor, Risa, and Lev are running for their lives.

The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child "unwound," whereby all of the child's organs are transplanted into different donors, so life
Hardcover, 335 pages
Published November 6th 2007 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
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The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins1984 by George OrwellThe Giver by Lois LowryDivergent by Veronica RothBrave New World by Aldous Huxley
Best Dystopian and Post-Apocalyptic Fiction
18th out of 1,904 books — 16,805 voters
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YA Dystopia Novels
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Community Reviews

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Kat Kennedy
I was walking back from my playgroup with my son on Monday, I came out of an elevator to find a teenage boy waiting for me. Fear and an urge to protect my son came over me as he looked a little "rough" around the edges.

Instead of pulling a knife or picking a fight though, the teenager turned on me with big, embarrassed, doe-eyes to ask in a quivering voice, "Excuse me, can I please have fifty cents to call my mum?" I fished out fifty cents worth of coins and left as soon as I saw him head toward

Holy frak-waffles Batman!! This is awesome.

At first I was like:

... but then I was like:

... and THEN I was all like:

...during that scene where they (view spoiler) I still have the major heebeejeebs.
I will never eat cauliflower again.

Unwind will shock you. I mean, roll-you-up-in-a-carpet-and-bitch-slap-you kind of shock you.

And you will love it.

An astonishing and at the same time disturbing read. Took me some time to get into, but from then on I was hooked. The world Shusterman created feels so vivid and real, it almost scared me. Thought-provoking and highly original. I haven't read anything like this ever before.

Also, it contained one of the most disturbing scenes I have ever read - not on a graphic level, but more due to the fact that what exactly is happening is left almost completely to the reader's imagination (if you've read the
As seen on The Readventurer

I approached rereading Unwind with trepidation. I generally enjoy revisiting books in series before each new release, but two reasons held me back in this case:

1) My original reading of Unwind left me completely horrified and I wasn't sure I would want to relive this story again (my husband is still too scared to revisit it); and

2) Unwind was one of the very first books I read when I had just discovered YA back in 2009, and it was also one of my very first dystopias. I
Jul 14, 2014 Kira rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone, everywhere
Recommended to Kira by: Someone awesome
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
You are not going to believe me, but I came to this book with open arms. It survived weeks of cuts and call-backs to become one of the final six books that were carefully wrapped in pajamas before being placed in the suitcase and flown to Switzerland. I only take books I am confident I’ll love on vacation. Well, given the length of this trip, space constraints, and my mercurial ways, they also had to be relatively thin, paperback, and fast-paced, but you get my point.

Alas, from the very first c
Dan Schwent
Dec 04, 2013 Dan Schwent rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Dan by: The Amazing Emily Scherrer
In a dystopian near future, teenagers Connor and Risa are sentenced to be unwound. When their paths cross with a tithe named Lev, they flee the world they know and become fugitives. But how long can they run before the past catches up with them...?

Imagine a world where abortion is illegal but it's perfectly acceptable to have disagreeable children unwound, that is, disassembled and their organs given to waiting recipients, when they are between the ages of 13 and 18? That's the basic premise beh
Page one, I'm iffy. Pro-life and Pro-choice fight a civil war and the only way to satisfy both armies is the agreement that no abortions take place but from the ages of thirteen to eighteen any child can be unwound and his or her divided body and soul be used as organ donation? First off, pro-choice isn't going to go for a woman sacrificing her body through pregnancy and raising a child thirteen years before she can dispose of it. And pro-life isn't going to go for the termination of a child who ...more
This is one of those books that once I finished it, I started it over and read the whole thing over again. And even after that, there were parts of it that I kept re-reading and thinking about. Before I go into my long review, I wanted to just mention that this book had one of the most nightmarish and horific scenes that I have ever read in my life. It contained almost no details at all, and none of the sparse details were graphic or gory. And that made it even scarier. My imagination provided m ...more

this is a great book to use as a springboard for discussions about reproductive rights and governmental responsibility and what kind of world we are creating and leaving to the next generation.

but i'm just going to talk about me. cuz i am a very laissez-faire individual, and i live my life like i am reading a book someone else is writing, and i am just tuning in to see where it all goes, and any discussion of this sort always leads to conflicts, and i think goodreads has enough of those, yeah?

I am definitely going to try and take a step back from the ledge here, because I fully realize that I may be the only person on the planet who didn’t enjoy this book. I just finished, so the absolute fury is still fresh, but I think that once it cools, I will be able to say that yeah, this book isn’t so bad. In fact I think that it’s incredibly average in every way. I would give this to a young-un in a heartbeat. It’s fast paced with just a dash of romance, and it will probably initiate a few in ...more
Final rating: ★★★★★★/★★★★★

Unwind by ~grayside

This book deserves more than just 6 stars. It deserves 10! This is my ultimate fav young adult and it was one of the most amazing and emotional reads. It's a roller coaster of emotions and don't read it if you don't wish for your heart to shatter, or if you don't wish for your heart to be cut out. Because that's how i felt while reading this.

But - in every darkness, there is light, and even if this book might seem quite grim, it was balanced. Becaus

What a horrible, horrible dystopian vision Neal Shusterman presents us with in Unwind!

A horrible vision which I found utterly unrealistic in the beginning. I just couldn’t imagine parents having their children "dismantled" because of bad behavior or better say, I couldn’t imagine a society accepting this gruesome procedure as common. After a while, though, I started thinking and considering our history and what people already did let happen, as well as the gruesome things that are still happenin
Jun 13, 2012 Jim rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who can deal with the grisly themes
Recommended to Jim by: Erika
There are nearly 5,000 reviews of this book on GR, and the official synopsis explains clearly what is meant by the term ‘Unwind’. So, I am going to assume that those who read this are familiar with the basic premise. If not, that’s okay - some of the context will be evident here. But it is much easier to review this without major spoilers if I don’t try to tap-dance around the basics.

This book certainly deserves its legion of fans, and could become a phenomenal movie. I strongly recommend it for
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
It’s impossible to understand other people. It’s impossible to understand ourselves most of the time.

At the very beginning, I honestly wasn’t buying the story. I just couldn’t understand parents who would get rid of their child and celebrate by going on a cruise. I should have known better. Our belief systems, morals, cultural conventions, laws… they didn’t just pop out of nothing. They are so deeply ingrained into our society that we never doubt most of them. People, we're sheep!
I wonder, at s
May 13, 2012 Erika rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone

Have you ever wondered if one day, the doctors prefer replacing instead of healing? If one day, the parents can choose to keep or to terminate their child?
“You can't change laws without first changing human nature.”

“You can't change human nature without first changing the law.”

Today, authors of dystopian books are feeding us with various creative ideas. Many of us haven't noticed that Neal Shusterman has written a thrilling, bizarre, and incredible science fiction. This is a story when morals a
Unwind is one of the best books I have ever read. Very rarely do I ever say that. It's one of those books that really leave an impact.

Where do I start? I must say, it was amazing in the most heart-pounding way. An incredible, well-crafted, gorgeously written book that is extremely fast paced, gripping, and suspenseful.

1. The characters: Complex & deep. My favorites are CyFi (Cyrus Finch) and Hayden. I adore them. They literally made me pause, close the book and ponder. True words of wisdom
This book is set in a futuristic America where people may retroactively abort a child between the ages of 13-18 by a process called unwinding. When a child is unwound, nearly every part of them will be used as donations for people who need specific body parts. The plot centers on three different characters who are set to be unwound--a boy whose parents made the choice, a girl who is a ward of the state, and a younger boy whose parents had him solely to donate him as a "gift" to God. I was hooked ...more
Should I read it? No. This is, without a doubt, the worst book I've ever read, and I would not dream of encouraging young people to read it.

What's the short and skinny of it? This is the official summary: "The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child 'unwound,' whereby all of the child's organs are transplanted
Wendy Darling
THAT SCENE made me clutch my blankie. *sobs*
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

“What does it take to unwind the unwanted? It takes twelve surgeons, in teams of two, rotating in and out as their medical specialty is needed. It takes nine surgical assistants and four nurses. It takes three hours.”

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If you are at all familiar with my reviews, you’re probably well aware that I’m a “big meany” when it comes to doling out 1 Stars and super stingy when it comes to granting 5s. I’m here to tell you that Unwind knocked my
Over dinner last week, I tried to explain the plot of Unwind to my friend Amy, a nurse.
So there was a civil war over reproductive rights.
And to end the war, both sides agreed that there would be no more abortion.
Got it.
But then parents can decide to have their kids unwound at the age of 13.
Wait, what?
The technology exists so that every part of the child would go to another person.
How the...?
Including their skin, major and minor organs, etc.
A lot of kids whose parents have signed their un
K.D. Absolutely
Jul 04, 2010 K.D. Absolutely rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: Ace and Aaron
Shelves: ya
Thanks to Ace for lending me this spectacular YA book!

This is the best YA dystopian fiction that I've read so far. Compared to say George Orwell's 1984, the writing seems to be ordinary but Shusterman's imagination is boundless. How could have thought of an idea where below 18 y/o teens are unwound, i.e., all their organs are harvested for transplant use?

While I was in the first 50 pages, I found the novel boring as it reminded me of the teenagers killing each other in Suzanne Collins' The Hung
One of my favourite genres of all time is horror. More specifically, horror that really gets underneath your skin, makes you uncomfortable, gives you nightmarish scenarios your brain likes to remind you of just as you're trying to get to sleep... But I find my high expectations for horror are very rarely met when it comes to YA novels.

Sure, there's horrible dystopias, such as the ones featured in The Hunger Games and Delirium, but neither of them have particularly scared me. I wouldn't want to l
Stacia (the 2010 club)
4.5 stars. Have you ever finished a book and been left with an almost speechless feeling?

This is how Unwind made me feel. I thought that the concept of kids being "unwound" (this is just a PC term for body parts being harvested/removed from unruly and unwanted kids) was an interesting and new story that I hadn't heard before. Unwinding results in the teen's death, but it was explained in the book as a chance to "live on" through other people.

I expected that the kids would fight to stay alive. I
I couldn't UNWIND from this book! This is the first novel I've read of Neal Shusterman and definitely not the last! I was hooked immediately and could not put the book down. When I was done with this horrific fictional, dystopic journey, I literally couldn't pick another book up for over a week.

This book is about the battle between Pro-Life and Pro-Choice where the two groups reach a compromise called "The Bill of Life" that states - a life starts at conception and is protected until the age of
So, your teenager's getting under your skin, is he? She's an ungrateful wretch, is she? Smoking, doping, drinking, stealing your money, bagging school, and so on?

Boy, does Neal Shusterman have an answer for YOU. Have the little creep unwound! It's a neat little euphemism (as is the word "harvested") for having G-men show up in the dead (heh) of the night to steal your little big cherub away kicking and screaming. From there the hormonal horror will be taken to a center where his or her organs (
I don’t normally get scared by dystopian books. Yeah, sometimes they’re a bit..eeeehhh… but, usually, the ideas are so far-fetched and impossible that I’m quite happy to shrug and think ‘Hey! Good fiction, author!”. I don’t know what it is about this book, where children can be ‘unwound’ and retroactively aborted when they reach a certain age, but it really haunted me.

Just the idea of it was so unsettling and absolutely horrid. The way the story is told (third person, present tense) has this alm
WARNING: There is a lot of gushing ahead. I mean it, it's almost sickening. You have been warned. --- Unwind is one of those books you can't seem to put down because whenever you finally do, all you end up doing is thinking about the book. It's well-written, addictive, intriguing... and awesome.

The pacing is brilliant. I was hooked from the beginning, which hasn't happened in a while. I also felt like I connected with the characters on a more personal level since it's written in first person nar
Amelia, the pragmatic idealist
Unwind is one of the few 'hype' books out there that is completely deserving of praise. And not only that, it is one of the best dystopians I've ever read. Why, you ask? I'll refer you to the publication date. Unwind was published in 2007, before dystopians truly took off as the 'next big thayng.' Even before The Hunger Games (2008). In other words, it's truly innovative and original because there really wasn't anything around at the time for it to copy. In a literary atmosphere where more and m ...more
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Rated YA-MA: Unwind by Neal Shusterman (Group Read December 2013) 217 267 Nov 21, 2014 03:50PM  
Smith English 4250: Review 1 2 Nov 09, 2014 08:14PM  
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Award-winning author Neal Shusterman grew up in Brooklyn, New York, where he began writing at an early age. After spending his junior and senior years of high school at the American School of Mexico City, Neal went on to UC Irvine, where he made his mark on the UCI swim team, and wrote a successful humor column. Within a year of graduating, he had his first book deal, and was hired to write a movi ...more
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